Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Sunny Monday and the Scenic Overload

In the magnificent Kootenai Valley and along the Kootenai River . . . .

Along South Center Valley Road:  morning

Along South Center Valley Road:  late afternoon

Yesterday turned out to be a day of mixed results.  Our ZAGS now stand No. 3 in two national rankings of NCAA men's basketball teams.  Yay!

Oregon's Ducks did not tread the necessary waters to win a National Championship, which was naturally pretty disappointing for all their fans. 

On another front, the sun came out in a big way yesterday morning.  The sun disappeared before noon. Still, scenes throughout the day offered up extra helpings of esthetic inspiration.

I could not stop shooting pictures yesterday morning as I walked our road.  It would be too difficult to simply tell people how the beauty of the day defied belief.  

So, I hoped my cell phone would help me out.  It did the best that cell phones can do, capturing the image next to the bottom in today's collection.

Another disappointing aspect of my plans for yesterday involved the polarizer filter I was expecting in the mail.  When I opened the mailbox (seen in the cell phone shot), a brown mailing package sat inside. 

This day is turning out so perfect, I thought, while walking to the house.  Mixed results came when I opened the package and found only the protection filter for my lens that I had also ordered last week. 

Aww, shucks.  The sun had disappeared and my plans to take the dogs snow shoeing in the Kootenai Valley would have to wait.   Then, I changed my mind, figuring the drive would be pretty, if nothing else. 

Besides, I could visit the Bread Basket Bakery, pick up some calories and stop at the Super 1 on the way home with, as Bill suggested, some deli chicken and salad for munching during the big game. 

So, off we went, stopping at the bakery and then heading north before turning off into the Kootenai Valley at Copeland.  I immediately noticed by the county roads and the field scenes that Copeland received a whole lot more snow than we did last week.  

With the Nature Conservancy as my snow shoeing goal (dogs can run free at the Conservancy), I stopped occasionally to take photos of the satisfying splendor that always greets us in that area.  

Doesn't matter how many times we go or how many of the same spots we visit, we're always thrilled with the magnificence of the river, the mountains and the valley. 

Yesterday was no exception, even if "mixed results" occurred once more.  The Westside Road turned out to be tightly plowed, intermittently sanded, mighty slick in some spots. When I arrived at the south gate for the Conservancy, I could find no safe place to park.

Disappointing but not the end of the world, as my camera could still get a work-out even if the dogs and I did not. 

A coal black, sweet-eyed black horse standing across the fence just off the road brought me to my first stop.  What can I say----just another very pretty equine face. Such faces always deserve a second look. 

We stopped a few more times and all of us did get out of the car at the boat launch near the National Wildlife Refuge.  

Again, on past occasions our family members have snapped photos at that same spot numerous times, but with each experience,  the colors and reflections from the river never cease to amaze me.

Before we left the launch site, I met another of my own kind---a loner, armed with a camera, hoping to get some good shots.  

When I told him I had hoped to go snow shoeing but couldn't find a good place to park, he said he wished he'd brought his snow shoes.

Then, he told me that he'd taken pictures for a living----a freelancer who loved taking pictures of "cats" for National Geographic. 

We talked more photography, and I also learned he lives pretty much in the neighborhood.  I'm sure I'll see him out and about again.

That's the beauty of owning a camera and loving to take images every single day of one's life.  Ya never know what unique sights you're gonna see or who you're gonna meet while on the search. 

Mixed results yesterday, for sure, but hardly disappointing in the grand scheme of the day. And, yes, that deli chicken from Bonners Ferry tasted pretty good while watching the game. 

Happy Tuesday. 

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